It looks like the Democrats are finally playing hardball.
Courtesy of WaPo:
In a dramatic interaction during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced that he planned to deliberately violate rules against releasing protected information, risking, in his own estimation, the loss of his position.
Here’s why he did so — and what’s likely to happen as a result.
At issue are documents provided to the committee before the hearings began. (Kavanaugh must be evaluated by the committee before his nomination can be sent to the full Senate for confirmation.) Booker took issue with how and when some of those documents were released, including a set released after having been vetted by William Burck, an attorney for President George W. Bush. (Kavanaugh served in Bush’s administration.)
One of the documents included in the Burck-reviewed set was an email revealing the nominee’s views on racial profiling — but because it had been deemed “committee confidential” after a review, Booker was not allowed to refer to it or ask Kavanaugh questions about it. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, established a process for review of that confidentiality, but Booker argued that the process was too cumbersome, perhaps deliberately, to allow him to make reference to the document in time.
He explicitly criticized the withholding of the profiling document.
“The fact that there is nothing in that document that’s personal information, there’s nothing national security-related, the fact that it was labeled as committee confidential, exposes that this process, sir, is a bit of a sham,” Booker said.
And true to his word Booker did indeed release the documents some of which you can find here.
Senator Mazie Hirono thought that these were important and completely supported Cory Booker’s decision to publish the documents.
These are the docs Rs don’t want you to see—because they show that Judge Kavanaugh wrongly believes that Native Hawaiian programs are Constitutionally questionable. I defy anyone reading this to be able to conclude that it should be deemed confidential in any way, shape, or form. pic.twitter.com/yj31vDNGia
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) September 6, 2018
After Booker made clear his intention to publish these documents Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex) said that Booker broke the rules of the Senate and suggested that there would “be consequences.”
Booker responded with this:
I really do not know if these documents will have any significant effect on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but I do know that their release has energized the Democratic base and given Booker’s presidential aspirations a shot in the arm.
P.S. Since all of this happened these emails have been declassified which seems to indicate that Booker will likely not face any consequences despite the threat.